For the past two years at Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day Melbourne, San Telmo has won the Golden Empanada trophy for the day’s best empanada, voted by a panel of professional food writers and critics. It has very graciously shared the recipe for its prize-winning empanada with us.

Serves 20.


  • 625g plain flour
  • 4g baking powder
  • 13g table salt
  • 58g duck fat
  • 300ml water


In a medium sized pot, bring half of the water and all of the duck fat up to heat until the fat has melted. Mix in the remainder of the water and cool to room temperature. Using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix the dry ingredients for 3 minutes. Slowly add the cooled liquid & mix until just combined. Cover the dough with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, divide into three parts and roll each to 3ml thickness with a rolling pin. Cut out 11.5 cm diameter circles. Place between pieces of greaseproof paper. If not being used instantly, wrap and refrigerate.


  • 625 g minced beef
  • 50 g diced red capsicum
  • 35g diced brown onions
  • 1 spring onion
  • 4 g crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.25 tbs smoked paprika
  • 3.75 tbs sweet paprika
  • 1.25 tbs chilli flakes
  • 60 ml red wine
  • 5 tbs ground cumin
  • 60 g sliced green olives
  • 3 boiled and diced eggs
  • Sunflower oil, for deep frying


In a pot, melt lard. Then place onion and capsicum and cook until soft. Add spring onion, garlic and chilli to the mix. Add mince and season. Once beef has browned all over, add all the spices except the cumin. Add red wine and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat, add cumin and olives. Adjust seasoning. Cool down, and then add chopped eggs.

To assemble, place a circle of pastry in your left hand. Take 40 grams of cold empanada mix (about one full dessert spoon) & place it in the middle of the pastry. Bring pastry edges together and pinch to create a seal. Using a fork, press sealed edges to create a linear pattern.

Heat sunflower oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry empanadas in batches until golden and crisp (about 3-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and serve.

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